Posted in Resources, Reviews

Wordy Qwerty for Reading & Spelling – Review

**Please note: Wordy Qwerty is no longer available, but the Jingle Spells CD still is**

Talking Fingers offers “innovative phonics-to-fluency software for hands-on reading and spelling”. Wordy Qwerty is their reading and spelling software for children in Grades 2-4.  I received Wordy Qwerty in exchange for an honest review 🙂 Wordy Qwerty is suitable for children who have already completed a  phonics program and know their way around the keyboard OR have completed Talking Fingers’ Read, Write & Type! program.  My 7 year old daughter, who tested out Wordy Qwerty, is one of the former.

Lesson 1 begins with short vowel sounds and long vowel sounds and learning about silent e. It then progresses to the spelling rule for soft c vs. hard c, and so on.  There are six activities in each lesson.  I’m not a big fan of the “Recycler” game.  Two words are shown (see example below of “meek” and “meak”) and the child has to choose which one is a real word, or if both are real words.  So the child is viewing made-up spelling for words, instead of consistently correct spelling.  I do however like the “write stories” part of each lesson.  The first part of a sentence appears and is read to the child, followed by the dictation of the last part which the child must type in to continue.  The story continues usually for about four screens until the child has a very cute, complete story.

The music is the big winner in this curriculum.  Not only are there 20 educational songs all about spelling rules, but they’re VERY well done.  Have you ever had songs that went along with a curriculum that all sounded the same and whose lyrics were awkward to sing and didn’t fit the music?  Not so with this music.  As a music teacher, I was impressed with these beautifully made, catchy tunes, from a wide variety of musical genres.  Whether you like rock, rap, country, 50’s, or a middle-eastern flair, there’s something that you will enjoy.  And after the child listens to the music being sung, your child can click on the microphone (see picture) and sing along in “karaoke” mode!

Unfortunately it was a slow start for us with this program.  At first we had access to the online program, and it kept freezing up or giving us error messages.  I tried using two different internet browsers to run it, and I tried turning off our firewall, but nothing seemed to work and my daughter became very frustrated that she had to start lessons over and over again after they froze up.  After waiting awhile for a response to my help request, I asked again for help and Talking Fingers sent us the CD set instead (they said that my internet connection must be at fault, which was surprising since we have high speed internet and regularly play sophisticated online games), and we received the CD this week.

The installation of the CD went fairly well, except that it failed to put a shortcut on my desktop or to appear in the Program files for some reason, so I dragged a shortcut onto the desktop from the root file.  Once it was installed, we were able to play Wordy Qwerty without worrying about whether the CD was in the drive or not.  The best thing about having the CD product, besides the fact that it runs smoothly, is that it comes with the accompanying “JingleSpells” CD – all the spelling songs on CD so you can listen to them in the car (or anywhere), which we thoroughly enjoyed doing.  My daughter’s been singing them all over the house.  Even my 12 year old didn’t mind them 🙂  I highly recommend this CD for anyone teaching their children spelling rules – you can listen to clips of it HERE or you can even buy it from iTunes (just search for JingleSpells)!

You can have your child try a demo of Wordy Qwerty Lesson 1 online here. Wordy Qwerty is available in online format for a 5-year subscription period for just $25.00 US for one user, with discounts for multiple users.  It is also available in CD-Rom format (not compatible with Windows 7 or Mac 10.6 though) with accompanying “JingleSpells” song CD for $35.00 plus shipping. The JingleSpells CD is also available as a separate purchase for only $10.00 US plus shipping.

Love, Luck &